Once a successful corporate lawyer at a prestigious Philadelphia law firm, Jack Shannon lost his marriage and his job, due in part to a compulsive gambling habit. While Shannon maintains a ... See full summary »
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Once a successful corporate lawyer at a prestigious Philadelphia law firm, Jack Shannon lost his marriage and his job, due in part to a compulsive gambling habit. While Shannon maintains a good relationship with his daughter, his professional career has hit rock bottom. He becomes a general practioner of law, gaining a loyal secretary in Lucy Acosta when he manages to free her boyfriend from jail. Shannon also gains an unlikely investigator in Wilmer Slade, a verbose enforcer for one of the many loan sharks to whom Jack is in debt. Although he has sworn off gambling, Shannon continues to use his skill as a cardplayer to help him work out his cases, and he always tries to work out deals for his clients without having to go to court. Written by
Writer-director John Sayles wrote the teleplay for the pilot movie and directed one of the episodes. He also has a cameo role in the episode "Words to Music" as a jealous boyfriend who gets into a confrontation with Jack Shannon. See more »
Shannon's Deal was one of the best TV shows ever. Writing by John Sayles, soundtrack by Wynton Marsalis, great acting. It was also interesting in that the endings were not the pat predictable type.
I think part of what damaged the show was its bad luck in timing. The pilot episode aired on the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre--not the sort of event to put one in the mood for light comedy. The next fall, the show was entirely overshadowed by another new show--Twin Peaks. The subtlety of Sayles's writing was lost under the weight of Twin Peaks's bizarreness. It got some favorable press later in the season, but I guess it never built the audience it needed.
I tried to catch the show, but the network kept changing when it was on. The last episode I saw, at the end of a season, was a cliffhanger: Shannon was about to sue his old law firm for mishandling his father's union's pension fund. I don't know if they ever made the episode that was supposed to start the next season.
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